In a campaign aptly titled #ThingsDontJudge, the brand explores many situations in which men and women of all ages get judged by society...
If 'Ghungroos', mobile phones, and rings could speak, would they tell a man to not dance, pout, or love another man? Will a 'Salwaar Kameez' ridicule a lady bike rider as 'behenji'? No, they won't. A reclining chair won't question a housewife taking rest, nor would 'Khan' as a surname prevent Aamna from celebrating Diwali.
So, why not turn towards these inanimate objects - 10 crore of them, which don't judge - asks a new ad by the e-commerce marketplace eBay. Conceptualised by BBDO India, the television-led campaign #ThingsDon'tJudge talks about various situations where people are seen breaking away from prejudices that the society imposes on them.
Shivani Suri, director -- marketing, eBay India, says, "Online shopping is changing the way we live. It's ushering in an acceptance of the new. It's at the heart of our evolving culture that's gradually helping us distance from the norms around gender, age, cast, creed, social status, or preferences."
According to Josy Paul, chairman, BBDO India, the campaign is an attempt to create a better world and greater desirability for the 10 crore products that are available on eBay.in simultaneously.
"When we started work on eBay, we had questions: Will our idea provoke conversation? Will the context last longer than the immediacy of the content? Will it influence change? We could feel the energy in the room when this idea came up. Something happened," he shares.
Says Hemant Shringy, executive creative director, BBDO India, "When we found out that eBay has over 10 crore products, we knew it had to speak not just like a category leader, but as a conversation and thought leader."
Will the ad stand out?
According to Bikram Bindra, vice-president and strategic planning head, Grey Group Delhi, attacking stereotypes is a bit of a flavour of the season, and it continues to grab eyeballs because it is a rich space. "There are two watch outs though- first, how do you ensure that you are starting and owning a new conversation, and secondly, what is your brand's right to claim a connect with the espoused cause," he remarks.
Bindra finds the new eBay ad powerful and bold. The different situations manage to strike a chord and linger after the film is over. He picks the 'boy practising dance' and the 'relaxing homemaker' as his favourite sequences.
Commenting on the idea and its execution, he says, "This campaign does have the 'making of a player with stature' feel, but there should be more elements in the communication mix to truly deliver the '10 crore products' promise. While this (Things Don't Judge) is impressive as an overarching thought, it isn't enough to communicate the expansive range on offer."
Bindra thinks it is unfair to compare eBay's ad with that of its competitor Snapdeal's recent campaign recent campaign. "While both are slice-of-life, Snapdeal's ad is definitely more mainstream in its construct and execution, and also builds a more seamless connect with the category and product. The eBay film makes several valid points, but the connect with the brand is a bit tenuous," he points out.
While Arijit Ray, co-founder and managing partner at Paperboat Brandworks, and former CEO - Dentsu Communications, agrees that taking a stance against convention and status-quo has become the new currency, he thinks the new eBay ad does strike an "endearing connect with the category".
Ray is of the opinion that when brands adopt the 'attacking stereotypes' theme, they must take a well thought-out and calibrated approach to avoid the risk of losing their distinctiveness and falling into the 'me too' zone, and he feels eBay manages to do so.
"The campaign thought - '10 crore things that don't judge' - connects nicely to the wide repertoire of eBay merchandise. In spite of the fact that this communication territory is not new, the execution looks good and does not seem jaded like quite a few others. More importantly, it manages to push the depth and width of products available by the mention of 10 crore products twice while seamlessly connecting it to the theme. It does not sound like a force-fit," he points out.
Ray also finds the music, casting, and script quite refreshing.